M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals, £500m+ in London
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP advises global corporations on high profile public and private M&A, handling contested and hostile bids, post-merger restructurings, antitrust compliance and regulatory approval. The firm had a key role on the much-publicised sale of Sky, acting for Comcast on its competitive £30.6bn takeover. The firm's team was led by corporate partners Julian Long and the 'amazing' Alison Smith. In a similar vein, Smith led the team that advised US manufacturing client Berry Global on its £3.4bn offer for RPC Group, which surpassed the competitive offer from Apollo. Managing partner of the London office, Claire Wills is primarily instructed by major financial institutions, and has been a key name for headline transactions in the retail and consumer sectors. Also recommended is Stephen Hewes, who incorporates his Takeover Panel experience in advising public companies on M&A activity, often encompassing multiple jurisdictions. The London practice is co-headed by Jennifer Bethlehem and Piers Prichard Jones, while senior partner Edward Braham continues to act in a management role and offers boardroom advice to the firm's longstanding clients.
Jennifer Bethlehem; Piers Prichard Jones
‘Best of the bunch‘
‘Alison Smith is amazing – a huge asset to the firm. She’s a standout lawyer on a strong trajectory‘
‘Piers is a statesman, highly capable and his natural style is to find a solution‘
Linklaters LLP advises clients across a broad range of complex cross-border M&A transactions, frequently above the £1bn mark. Clients include a large number of household names, a large proportion of which are FTSE100-listed companies. The firm's sector expertise is exhibited through an array of distinct work highlights, including Takeda's takeover of Shire in the pharmaceuticals sector, which managing associate Sarah Flaherty advised on, and Sainsbury's proposed merger with Asda in the retail sector, in which the highly-regarded Iain Fenn acted for Sainsbury's. Fenn was also the lead name when the firm advised Old Mutual on its £12bn demerger. The 'professional' Aedamar Comiskey heads the global corporate practice, while Matthew Middleditch is chairman. Fionnghuala Griggs, partner since May 2017, is particularly experienced in Fintech and has advised private companies in this sector on complex schemes of arrangement, in addition to advising financial service groups on Brexit. Derek Tong, who was recently promoted to partner, heads the UK technology transactions team. Senior partner Charlie Jacobs maintains an active role as boardroom adviser to many of the firm's high-profile clients. Departures include that of experienced M&A partner Roger Barron.
Aedamar Comiskey; Matthew Middleditch
Other key lawyers:
‘Definitely at the top of the market‘
‘Strong commercial acumen; they take the time to understand the client’s business and needs and communicate in layman terms‘
‘Their advice is practical, their turnaround time super efficient and their fee quote highly competitive‘
‘Aedamar is not only good fun and energetic, but very professional‘
‘Simon Branigan is excellent – approachable, always available, experienced and able to answer questions off the cuff‘
‘Jessamy Gallagher is an excellent deal lawyer’
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd
J Sainsbury plc
Intu Properties plc
Jardine Matheson Holdings Limited
SIX Group AG
ION Investment Group Limited
National Grid plc
Advent International Corporation
Dialog Semiconductor PLC
- Advised Takeda Pharmaceuticals on its £46bn takeover of Shire, including the acquisition process, debt financing and merger control reviews.
- Advised J Sainsbury in relation to its proposed £15bn merger with Asda.
- Advising Old Mutual in relation to its managed separation to deliver two separate entities, at total value of £12bn.
- Acted for Unilever on the €6.8bn auction sale of its global spreads business.
- Advised SIX Group AG as vendor on the auction sale of its payment services division to Worldline SA, sold for roughly £2.2bn
Slaughter and May specialises in high-value M&A work for high-profile clients, predominantly in the FTSE350 range. Indicative features of the firm's work include cross-border transactions across a host of sectors, with retail, pharmaceutical and media clients all represented over the last year. In the media sector, senior partner and 'statesman' Steve Cooke led as the firm advised Walt Disney on English law aspects of its $85bn acquisition of 21st Century Fox. Sally Wokes , a partner since 2015, advises on a broad range of corporate transactions in both the public and private markets, and has handled high-profile mandates in the retail and leisure sectors. In the telecoms sector, Roland Turnill was the lead name, alongside Susannah Macknay, on Vodafone's $18.4bn acquisition of certain operations of Liberty Global. Also recommended are David Johnson and Andy Ryde, who co-heads the practice with Turnill, in addition to Simon Nicholls , who acts for both publicly listed companies and private companies on corporate transactions. The 'fantastically smart' Francesca Harris, an associate in the corporate department, also comes highly recommended, having worked with Ryde on a high-value acquisition by DS Smith. The firm saw a number of retirements this year, including M&A heavyweights Nigel Boardman and William Underhill, although David Watkins returned to London from the Hong Kong office.
Andy Ryde; Roland Turnill
Other key lawyers:
‘A class act‘
‘User friendly, and provide practical commercial advice to the board‘
‘Andy Ryde is fantastic at managing client relationships, he’s happy to stand up and be counted and is level headed.’
‘Francesca Harris is fantastically smart, certainly one to watch‘
‘Steve Cooke is great – he has a real commanding presence.’
Marks & Spencer
Royal Dutch Shell
Standard Life Aberdeen
- Advised The Walt Disney Company on English law aspects arising from its $85bn acquisition of Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. and in relation to Fox’s involvement in the £30 billion takeover battle for Sky plc.
- Advised Shire plc on its £45.6bn recommended offer by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited for the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of Shire.
- Advising Vodafone on the proposed acquisition of certain operations of Liberty Global, including Unitymedia GmbH in Germany and operations (excluding the “Direct Home” business) in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Romania, for a total enterprise value of €18.4 billion.
- Advised GlaxoSmithKline on its acquisition of Novartis AG’s 36.5% stake in their Consumer Healthcare Joint Venture for a cash consideration of US$13bn.
- Advised Walmart on the proposed merger between Sainsburys and Asda, as parent company of Asda.
Allen & Overy LLP advises FTSE100 and FTSE250 clients on a range of corporate M&A transactions, with a particular focus on deals with a heavy finance component. Key sector strengths include technology (TMT), media and telecommunications, life sciences and financial institutions. In the TMT sector, the firm advised 21st Century Fox on its unsuccessful bid for Sky and the subsequent sale of its 39% stake in Sky to Comcast. David Broadley and Seth Jones both took lead roles on this matter, and on the sale of the same client to Walt Disney for £71bn. They were assisted by senior associate Alex Tilley, who clients recommend for his 'practical and pragmatic advice'. Richard Hough frequently represents funds, investors and banks on corporate transactions in the financial services sector, bringing substantial Takeover Panel experience to bear. The practice is headed by Dominic Morris .
‘My first choice for a UK-based M&A transaction‘
‘Excellent market knowledge, very commercial, pragmatic and practical advice‘
‘Building a great team for public M&A over recent years, giving real bench strength with strong associates coming through.‘
‘Excellent availability and prompt, considered advice coupled with superb project management .’
‘Dominic Morris possesses excellent market knowledge. He offers very commercial, pragmatic and practical advice, with excellent tactical insights‘
‘Alex Tilley offers pragmatic and practical advice, with excellent attention to detail and excellent leadership of transactions‘
‘Seth Jones is highly impressive, composed with first-class legal skills‘
21st Century Fox
Virgin Group and Virgin Money
Royal Dutch Shell
Associated British Foods
Quilter (formerly Old Mutual Wealth)
- Advised 21st Century Fox on its £27.7bn takeover bid for Sky and the subsequent £11.6bn sale of its 39% stake in Sky to Comcast.
- Advised Virgin Money Holdings (UK) plc on offer by CYBG for the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Virgin Money, creating the UK’s sixth biggest bank.
- Advising Marks & Spencer on its 50/50 joint venture with Ocado Group plc (Ocado) and its related rights issue.
- Advised Hellenic Bank (Hellenic) on its EUR10.3bn acquisition of certain assets and liabilities of the Cyprus Cooperative Bank.
- Advised EG Group on its AUD1.72bn acquisition of the Woolworths Petrol Business (WOW Petrol) from Woolworths Group Limited (WOW) and on its acquisition of the convenience store business unit from The Kroger Co. (Kroger) (NYSE:KR) for USD2.15bn.
Clifford Chance LLP advises high-profile clients on strategically important, and frequently cross-border, mandates. Under the leadership of Melissa Fogarty and Nigel Wellings, the M&A team regularly handles complex transactions, including joint ventures, mergers and takeovers, both through contested auctions and bilateral purchases. Global head of corporate Guy Norman continues to maintain a strong standing in the M&A market, and predominantly handles non-public domestic and overseas M&A projects for international corporates and sovereign wealth funds. The team's holistic sector approach is evidenced by a number of high-profile mandates, including advising Pfizer on its joint venture with GSK, on which Gareth Camp led the team. Camp also advised The Coca-Cola Company on its high-profile acquisition of Costa. In the consumer retail sector, David Pudge advised Booker Group on its merger with Tesco. Veteran corporate lawyer Tim Lewis has a strong track record in the UK M&A market, and has advised clients alongside Katherine Moir, who works closely with boards and general counsel and has a strong list of high-profile takeovers to her name. Steven Fox regularly handles high-value cross-border transactions, with a list of clients that includes listed corporates, investment banks and financial institutions. Amy Mahon is the only significant departure to note, having moved to Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, while Simon Clinton and David Pearson retired from the partnership this year.
Melissa Fogarty; Nigel Wellings
‘They got us over the line in style – a fantastic job was done by everyone in the team‘
‘In-depth industry knowledge spanning legal, commercial and day-to-day practical issues.
‘Katherine Moir has great judgement – she’ll be a market leader‘
‘Adrian Levy provides pragmatic legal advice of the highest quality’
‘David Pudge has all the legal expertise you’d expect in abundance alongside a calm and thoughtful manner.’
Legal & General plc
The Coca-Cola Company
Lucozade Ribena Suntory Ltd
- Advised Pfizer on a consumer healthcare joint venture with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), to create a premier global consumer healthcare company.
- Advised NEX Group plc on its c £4bn takeover by Chicago Mercantile Exchange
- Advised The Coca-Cola Company on its £3.9bn acquisition of Costa from Whitbread, taking control of over 4,000 retail outlets.
- Advised CYBG as owner of Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank on its £1.7bn acquisition of Virgin Money.
- Advised Inmarsat on an unsolicited takeover approach from US rival Echostar valued at £3.2bn
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP advises predominantly London-listed clients on complex cross-border matters, with a focus on the public M&A markets. In addition to representing corporations in public takeovers, the firm has longstanding relationships with investment banks, and frequently advises them as financial sponsors on high profile acquisitions. Key matters have seen Stephen Wilkinson lead a team advising Sky as target in the competitive auction between Comcast and 21st Century Fox; running a team that included the 'very able' senior associate Harriet Forrest, who clients recommend for her 'valued calmness'. Practice head Gavin Davies, alongside the 'excellent' Caroline Rae, advised ARRIS International on its proposed $7.4bn acquisition by CommScope Holding Company Inc. Meanwhile senior partner James Palmer remains a visible member of the team, with a strong track record of advising clients on M&A, including hostile takeovers.
‘Excellent corporate law advice combined with strong experience in the energy sector‘
‘Very commercial without losing any technical excellence‘
‘Knowledgeable, technically able, confident and pragmatic. They also have a first class approach to service delivery, are highly responsive and committed to understanding us and providing additional value.’
‘Gavin and his team do a great job anticipating deal issues so that we address them early rather than have them hold up the process‘
‘Stephen Wilkinson is a standout lawyer, one of the best we have worked with‘
‘Caroline Rae is excellent. She gives pragmatic advice, appropriate for us and the situation‘
‘James Palmer’s depth of experience is appreciated by our legal team and our senior management‘
‘Mike Flockhart is outstanding. Great technical legal knowledge combined with practical commerciality. One of the best in his field. He will always be a ‘go-to’ corporate resource on critical matters‘
‘Harriet Forrest is a very able senior associate with valued calmness and assurance allied to the strongest of work ethics and strong intellect‘
Ardonagh Group (formerly Towergate Insurance)
Associated British Foods
British American Tobacco
The British Land Company
Meredith Time Inc.
Willis Towers Watson
- Advised Sky in relation to competing takeover offers from Comcast and 21st Century Fox, and in relation to the successful £30bn offer from Comcast.
- Advised ARRIS International plc on the $7.4bn proposed acquisition by CommScope Holding Company.
- Advised Hammerson Plc on an unsolicited takeover proposal from French rival Klépierre.
- Acted as adviser to BP International on a significant transaction with ConocoPhillips, with BP increasing its holding in the Clair field.
- Advised Sky UK on the disposal of its 20% stake in its online betting and gaming business to Canadian online gaming firm The Stars Group, for £635m.
Latham & Watkins handles corporate, transactional and advisory work for corporates, private equity sponsors, funds and investment banks. The US-firm acts for a large number of multi-jurisdictional clients, with a particular focus on the US-UK pipeline, advising on both inbound and outbound investment. The firm frequently acts opposite Magic Circle and Silver Circle firms, as was the case when advising JP Morgan as financial sponsor to Takeda Pharmaceuticals on its acquisition of Shire. The matter was led by Richard Butterwick, who also advised GVC Holdings in connection with the acquisition of Ladbrokes Coral. Farah O’Brien specialises in cross-border private M&A, and has a strong track record in joint ventures and corporate restructurings. The 'oustanding' Ed Barnett has extensive experience advising international companies on cross-border M&A transactions, and works with a number of high-profile clients across key sectors. The practice is led by Nick Cline and Robbie McLaren, and benefited from the arrivals of Brendan Moylan from Clifford Chance LLP and Neil Ferguson from Jones Day, specialists in infrastructure and real estate transactions respectively.
Nick Cline; Robbie McLaren
Other key lawyers:
‘Extremely diligent, detail-orientated legal work, combined with tenacious negotiation and, just as importantly, very hands on client service in managing complex situations‘
‘Ed Barnett is outstanding. He gives practical, realistic, pragmatic and strategic advice backed by excellent and diligent legal work. I would recommend him to anyone.‘
‘Nick Cline is tenacious, attentive to detail, calm under pressure, and has stellar negotiation skills and inexhaustible stamina. He was a critical part of our success‘
Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp
GVC Holdings plc
TI Fluid Systems plc
Venator Materials plc
Wizz Air plc
- Represented Duke Street in connection with the sale of Wagamama to The Restaurant Group.
- Acted for GVC Holdings in connection with the financing and acquisition of Ladbrokes Coral, by way of scheme of arrangement for £4.1bn
- Represented the independent directors of Vedanta Resources in connection with a $3.97bn takeover by Volcan Investments.
- Advised JP Morgan Securities as financial adviser to CME Group in connection with the $5.4bn acquisition of Nex Group.
- Acted for William Demant Invest A/S in connection with the acquisition of Vision RT, a UK-based imaging technology company.
Macfarlanes LLP predominantly handles UK M&A work for blue-chip domestic clients, using a comprehensive network of referral firms for cross-border matters. Though the firm has a strong private equity practice, the corporate team predominantly acts for listed companies on public M&A. The firm's broad sector focus is evidenced through the headline matters the corporate team has worked on, including representing Dana Incorporated on the planned acquisition of the driveline business of GKN. The retirement of highly rated Graham Gibb has been mitigated through the hire of Robert Ogilvy Watson from Ashurst, whose focus lies in public company work, and who has experience in multiple jurisdictions, including the US and Asia. In addition, the firm also hired special situations specialist Peter Baldwin from Ropes & Gray LLP. The team is co-headed by Howard Corney and Luke Powell, while outgoing senior partner Charles Martin is regularly involved in board-level issues for the firm's established clients. The 'exceptionally bright' Alex Edmondson is highly rated by clients for his logical approach, and has a particular focus on the technology sector, heading a cross-departmental group.
Luke Powell; Howard Corney
‘Exceptional. I know that when using them nothing will get missed in the deal‘
‘Alex Edmondson is exceptionally bright’
‘Luke Powell is a standout partner and provides the confidence and authority to take tough stances to protect his clients’ interests‘
Legal & General
International Game Technology
Lexington Capital Partners
- Advised Dana Incorporated on the proposed $6bn acquisition of the Driveline business of GKN, conditional upon the hostile takeover of the target by Melrose not proceeding.
- Advised Robey Warshaw as financial adviser to Silver Lake, in relation to its £2.2bn acquisition of ZPG Plc.
- Advised Hogg Robinson on its takeover offer for GBT, for £500m.
- Advised Fintech client Salary Finance on a £400m joint venture with independent banking group CYBG, involving the acquisition of an FCA-authorised business,
- Advised Hermes Fund Managers Limited on the sale by BT Pension Scheme of a majority interest in Hermes to Federated Investors.
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP's London office advises clients on a broad range of transactions, primarily focused on the European market, although the team also work with colleagues in the US on transatlantic deals. Clients include international corporates and private equity houses, and indeed, the firm's private equity practice is closely aligned with the corporate M&A practice, with Ben Spiers and Adam Signy among the key names working across both. In the largest successful hostile takeover in a decade the pair advised Melrose Industries in its acquisition of GKN. Alongside Spiers, Clare Gaskell is also highly regarded, advising KKR in its acquisition of Unilever's global spreads business. Significantly, Simpson Thacher moved to bolster its City M&A team with the hire of the highly recommended Amy Mahon from Clifford Chance LLP . Mahon advises clients including private equity firms, infrastructure firms and corporate clients on cross-border M&A, leveraged buyouts and infrastructural transactions.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP handles multi-jurisdictional M&A through its 'amazing' London team, working closely with colleagues in offices in the US. With the retirement of veteran M&A partner Michael Hatchard, Lorenzo Corte and Scott Hopkins now co-head the M&A practice in London. Hopkins leads the UK public M&A practice, and recently advised Worldpay on its merger with Fidelity National Information Service, working closely with the firm's New York office. Corte heads the firm's Italian desk, and spearheads the European practice from London. With extensive experience in US antitrust filings, the firm is well positioned for both inbound and outbound investment between the US and UK. US-qualified Scott Simpson, who is co-head of the firm's Global Transactions Practice, is also highly recommended in the London M&A market. Skadden has also been building up its private equity practice in recent years having hired Richard Youle and Katja Butler from White & Case in 2017.
Scott Hopkins; Lorenzo Corte
Other key lawyers:
Scott Simpson; Linda Davies; John Adebiyi; Simon Toms
‘The most reliable group of people I have ever work with. They really understand deal mechanics, helping to solve both commercial and legal issues. It’s probably the only team I would fully rely on.‘
‘Amazing to work with‘
‘A world class M&A practice supported by strong expertise in Corporate Governance, Tax and Antitrust.’
‘Probably the best US firm in London for public M&A.’
‘Linda Davies is a go-to person for making the deal happen‘
‘Lorenzo Corte is amazing to work with. The best M&A lawyer I have ever met‘
‘Scott Hopkins has a strong ability to lead his team and clients through complex M&A. He displays total commitment, continuous energy and focus.‘
21st Century Fox
Royal Caribbean Cruises
- Advising Worldpay. in connection with its merger with Fidelity National Information Services for a combined value of $43bn.
- Advising Nightstar Therapeutics, a UK-based, NASDAQ-listed clinical-stage gene therapy company, in its acquisition by Biogen for $877m
- Representing Nasdaq in the announced offer by its wholly owned subsidiary Nasdaq AB to acquire all of the issued shares of the publicly traded Norwegian stock exchange, Oslo Børs VPS Holding ASA,for approximately $795m .
- Represented the board of directors of Dana Incorporated in the company’s proposed $6.1bn merger with the Driveline division of U.K.-based GKN.
- Advising PayPal Holdings . on its US$2.2bn acquisition of iZettle, a mobile payments company for small businesses.
Ashurst advises FTSE-ranked corporates on domestic and cross-border M&A, with particular sector expertise across infrastructure, energy, banking and finance, technology and retail. The Anglo-Australian firm's City M&A team also works closely with the technology and real estate groups. It has a particular emphasis on advising financial sponsors and investment banks on M&A matters, taking this role on many high profile mandates, including advising Deutsche Bank as lead financial adviser to 21st Century Fox on its proposed acquisition of Sky. Head of the corporate transactions team, the 'standout' Karen Davies is an expert in corporate finance, and has advised a number of financial sponsors over the past year. The equally 'excellent' Tom Mercer is noted for his strong track record in public company takeovers, and is able to advise across a broad range of sectors, with media, oil and gas and pharmaceuticals particular examples from the past year. Veteran corporate partner Adrian Clark retired from the partnership. Jason Radford heads the firm's global corporate practice.
Jason Radford; Karen Davies
Other key lawyers:
‘Very responsive and commercial‘
‘Tom Mercer is excellent. Very client focused, commercial and he never patronizes.’
‘Karen Davies is really standout, a top lawyer‘
Babcock International Group
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Barclays UK Ventures
Johnston Press / JPI Media
JP Morgan Infrastructure Fund
Liberty House Group
Royal Bank of Scotland
WM Morrison Supermarkets
- Advised CareTech Holdings on its recommended offer for the entire issued share capital of Cambian Group.
- Represented Liberty House Group, part of the GFG Alliance, in relation to its acquisition of European steel plants across Europe from ArcelorMittal
- Advised US-based Digital Colony, an investment firm focused on mobile and internet infrastructure, on the acquisition of Digita Oy, a Finland-based owner and operator of digital and radio infrastructure, from First State Investments.
- Acted for Evercore Partners, J.P. Morgan and Nomura as joint financial advisers to Takeda, in relation to Takeda’s £46bn recommended offer for Shire.
- Acted for Centerview Partners UK in relation to its £3.9bn recommended cash and share offer for UBM by Informa.
Baker McKenzie advises clients on public and private M&A, as well as private equity investment into portfolio companies. The global reach of the firm allows it to manage complex multi-jurisdictional transactions, with offices in the US assisting in transatlantic matters and European and Asian offices also regularly involved in work coordinated from the London office. The firm is highly noted for its capabilities in emerging markets transactions, channelled along core sector lines of consumer, industrials, pharmaceuticals and TMT. The corporate practice is headed by Mike Webster, while Helen Bradley and Jane Hobson oversee the public and private M&A groups respectively. Bradley, who heads the corporate finance group, has a strong focus on FIG-related matters, while. Hobson is noted for her extensive healthcare sector experience. Jannan Crozier is especially experienced in cross-border M&A, and complex carve-outs in particular, having. The firm hired Kathy Honeywood from Clifford Chance LLP, whose expertise lies in the energy, mining and infrastructure, and Peter Lu from White & Case LLP, who leads the firm's China group from London.
‘Global reach with a broad spectrum of expertise; a one-stop shop. Fantastic’
‘Baker McKenzie has an unrivalled geographic reach which it has now succeeded in pairing with a consistent service level between offices.’
‘The firm is commercial, pragmatic and solution orientated. I am also impressed by the diversity of the work force in London, which is a strength and a differentiator.’
‘Great technical and commercial skills – I would rely on these individuals over many I have worked with in the magic circle’
‘Helen Bradley is excellent at looking at the bigger picture. She has a strong work ethic and is responsive and patient.’
‘Helen Bradley is passionate, easy to work with, pragmatic and highly responsive. She understands the commercial drivers of the transaction and has an extraordinary ability to spot potential de-railers in advance.’
‘Jannan Crozier thinks outside the box to ensure that our business needs are met. She is best in class’
Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets Europe
Emerson Electric Co.
Walgreens Boots Alliance
- Acting for Saudi Arabia’s Alawwal Bank on its merger with The Saudi British Bank which will create Saudi Arabia’s third largest bank with assets of around $70bn .
- Advised BGEO Group on the demerger of its investment business from the banking business, and insertion of new parent company, as well as the listings of both banking and investment businesses.
- Advised Japanese conglomerate Hitachi on its $11bn acquisition of Swiss engineering group ABB.
- Represented Unilever on its $4.6bn agreement to acquire the Health Food Drinks portfolio of GSK in India, Bangladesh and 20 other predominantly Asian markets.
- Acted for a consortium of investors including The Olayan Group, The Peel Group and funds managed and/or advised by affiliates of Brookfield, on the highly-public possible offer for shopping centre owner intu properties plc.
Hogan Lovells International LLP advises on the full range of domestic and cross-border transactions, encompassing public bids, private M&A, joint ventures and investments. In the run up to Brexit, the firm's insurance, technology and life sciences teams have been particularly active. John Allison advised Lloyds Banking Group and Scottish Widows on the acquisition of Zurich's UK workplace pensions and savings business. Co-head of the practice Charles Rix is a key name in the insurance market, while fellow co-head Ben Higson has a focus on energy, infrastructure and natural resources. The firm has seen a number of senior departures, with London private equity head Ed Harris quitting for Paul Hastings, months after Steven Bryan made the same move. The firm brought in Sarah Shaw from Allen & Overy LLP,who has a focus on energy and natural resources, particularly in Africa.
Ben Higson; Charles Rix
Other key lawyers:
‘Top shelf public company M&A practice‘
‘John is always available to provide practical and commercial advice. He doesn’t normally sit on the fence‘
‘Tom Brassington is the go-to lawyer for cross-Atlantic public company M&A‘
‘We have been particularly impressed with Nicola Evans‘
Ford Motor Company
Smiths Group plc
- Advised Asahi Europe Ltd. (Asahi Europe), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Asahi Group Holdings, Ltd. (Asahi), on the acquisition of the beer and cider business of Fuller, Smith & Turner plc (Fuller’s)
- Advised Prologis on the sale of a high-quality portfolio of buildings and land in Europe and the United States to the real estate investment arm of Singaporean sovereign investor Temasek for $1.1bn.
- Advised Canada Life Limited on the sale of a £2.7 billion life insurance business to Scottish Friendly.
- Advised Aries Management in relation to the acquisition of VetPartners and its subsequent sale to BC Partners.
- Acting forThe Anschutz Corporation as majority shareholder in Regal Entertainment Group on the $5.9bn acquisition of Regal by Cineworld Group plc.
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP has broad experience in both public and private company M&A, acting on cross-border transactions for UK and US-based clients. The European M&A practice is headed by Timothy Emmerson, who has previously acted for financial institutions and public companies on cross-border acquisitions and corporate financing. Also recommended is Ben Perry, who advised Apollo on its £3.4bn sale to Berry. The team was bolstered this year through the arrival of Jeremy Kutner from Shearman & Sterling LLP; Kutner has a broad range of M&A sector specialisms, including financial services, healthcare, food and beverages and telecommunications.
‘Tim Emmerson is a fantastic partner – a really strong leader‘
‘Very strong team; awe rate them highly‘
Travers Smith LLP handles M&A work for corporates, private equity houses and sponsors, including real estate and infrastructure funds. Across both the public and private markets, the firm manages cross-border mandates through a network of international partner firms, and has recently acted for numerous FTSE100 and FTSE250 firms. Philip Cheveley leads the corporate M&A and ECM practice, while Spencer Summerfield heads the corporate department; Summerfield's broad practice covers cross-border corporate financing, including M&A and joint ventures, with a particular nod to the infrastructure sector in which he holds a number of key client relationships. Recent headline matters include acting for Bridgepoint on the sale of Pret A Manger to JAB Holding Company..
Spencer Summerfield; Philip Cheveley
Other key lawyers:
Ian Shawyer; Paul Dolman; Neal Watson
‘Great public company and private equity experience‘
Micro Focus International PLC
McColl’s Retail Group
Brookfields Utilities UK (BUUK)
- Advised technology client Micro Focus on its $2.5bn sale of SUSE to a special purpose vehicle held by funds managed by EQT Partners.
- Acted for real estate client The Peel Group as largest shareholder in Intu Properties, in connection with Hammerson’s £3.4bn recommended offer for Intu.
- Advised AIM-listed construction client Breedon Group Plc on the acquisition of Lagan Group (Holdings) Limited for £455m.
- Advised the management team of Nets Holding A/S (Nets), a payment services provider, in connection with the $5.3bn take-private of Scandinavia’s largest payment processor from the Copenhagen stock exchange by a group of investors led by Hellman & Friedman and including GIC, Advent and Bain.
- Advised media client Ascential Group plc on the £300m sale of Ascential Exhibitions to ITE Group plc.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP acts for corporates and private equity firms on major cross-border transactions, including mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and divestments. The firm has a high profile roster of private equity clients as well as also advising corporates such as GE, Sanofi and Westinghouse. Heavyweight practice head Michael Francies is experienced in advising public companies and private investors, and recently acted for Sanofi in its sale of Zentiva to Advent International. The team regularly collaborates with international colleagues, working closely with the Paris, New York and Frankfurt offices. The team has been bolstered through the 2019 addition of Mark Thompson from Sidley Austin LLP, who focuses on real estate M&A transactions. Former Herbert Smith Freehills partner James MacArthur advises corporate and PE sponsors across infrastructure and real estate transactions.
‘Mike Francies holds a lot of clout with clients‘
General Electric Company
Westinghouse Electric Company
CATS Management Limited
- Advised VINCI Airports in its £2.9bn acquisition of a majority stake in Gatwick Airport Limited from Global Infrastructure Partners.
- Acted for Laird in its sale of its Connected Vehicle Solutions Division to Molex Electronic Technologies.
- Advised Avolon Holdings and its parent, Bohai Capital Holding in Bohai’s £1.7bn sale of a 30% stake in Avolon to ORIX Aviation Systems Limited.
- Represented Concardis in its merger with Nets A/H
- Acted for Sanofi in its sale of Zentiva to Advent International, for £1.8bn
White & Case LLP's transatlantic platform combines a strong US M&A practice with a sizable London offering, allowing the firm to handle big-ticket mandates in the financial services, oil and gas, metals and mining, pharmaceuticals and technology sectors. The London team, which includes corporate co-head Patrick Sarch and global co-head of private equity Ian Bagshaw, works closely with counterparts in New York and Washington DC, especially on matters such as regulatory approval. Sarch has a primary focus on financial institutions, and has strong relationships with banks and other institutions. Bagshaw's practice encompasses corporates as well as private equity clients, and recent mandates include working with the Softbank Vision Fund on multi-billion dollar investments. The firm has made a number of M&A hires this year, including Daniel Turgel and Margot Lindsay from Linklaters LLP, Dominic Ross from Ashurst and Tom Matthews from Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. Jonathan Langley relocated to the firm's Moscow office.
Patrick Sarch; Ian Bagshaw
Other key lawyers:
Jarlath McGurran; Dominic Ross
‘A top firm. Really strong, they stand out from their competitor firms.’
Energean Oil & Gas
Hikma Pharmaceuticals Plc
- Advised Klarna Bank on its acquisition of the point of sale retail finance business of Close Brothers Limited.
- Advised First State Investments on its sale of a 16.7% stake in Anglian Water Group to Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, for £615m.
- Advised Energean E&P Holdings, part of the Energean Oil & Gas Group, in the acquisition of a further 20% stake in Energean Israel taking its stake to 70 percent.
- Advised Deutsche Bank, financial advisers to Stan Kroenke, on the £550m acquisition of the remaining 30% stake in Arsenal Football Club.
- Acted for US satellite company EchoStar Corp on its £3.2 billion hostile approach for UK-based Inmarsat.
Two years on from its historic three-way UK merger, CMS continues to handle a large volume of M&A transactions, most notably across sectors including financial services, TMT and energy and infrastructure. The corporate M&A practice is co-headed by Iain Newman and Charles Currier, who is a specialist in the energy and infrastructure space. Utilising its significant international presence, the firm is adept at handling multi-jurisdictional transactions, and sees a steady volume of cross-border work. Also recommended is Dipesh Santilale, who helped advise Standard Life Aberdeen PLC on the sale of its insurance business to Phoenix Group, and Louise Wallace, who leads the corporate practice in the consumer products sector.
Charles Currier; Iain Newman
‘First rate in private equity – especially where multi-country diligence is needed‘
‘Strong team across compensation; labour; real estate; pensions; and media/copyright; etc.‘
Mainstream Renewable Power
John Laing Infrastructure Fund Limited
CityFibre Infrastructure Holdings
Quad Gas Group
Standard Life Aberdeen
- Advising Standard Life Aberdeen on the sale of its insurance business to Phoenix Group for approximately £3.2bn.
- Advising J-Power and Development Bank of Japan on the acquisition of a 25% share in Triton Knoll HoldCo Limited from Innogy Renewables UK Limited, for approximately £2bn.
- Advising Mainstream Renewable Power on the disposal of the 450MW Neart na Gaoithe offshore wind farm project to the EDF Group
- Acted for John Laing Infrastructure Fund in its £1.45bn sale to Jura Acquisitions Limited
- Advising Accor on the English and Scottish aspects of the €4.4bn demerger of 55% of the AccorInvest division of Accor Hotels
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP's London team advises European and US listed companies, private equity houses and investment banks on a range of big-ticket public and private deals. Sector strengths include technology, consumer retail, energy and financial services, which practice head Will Pearce is especially noted for. Pearce led the London team which advised Comcast on its £30.6bn takeover of Sky, in conjunction with the US firm's New York office, and has worked with a number of financial sponsors on high-profile mandates, including UBS and Lazard. The Comcast team also included associate Joseph Scrace, who have taken a number of roles on the firm's headline transactions.
Other key lawyers:
Dan Hirschovits; Reuven Young
‘A really good firm‘
‘Will Pearce is a really standout lawyer‘
Genuine Parts Company
- Advised Barclays Bank and Citigroup Global Markets Limited as financial advisers to Apollo Management IX, L.P., on its £3.3bn recommended offer to acquire RPC Group plc
- Represented Temenos Group on its £1.4bn acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Fidessa, a UK provider of capital markets software.
- Advised Mereo BioPharma Group plc on its combination with OncoMed Pharmaceuticals.
- Advised Nordic Capital on an approximately $760m tender offer with Sampo plc to acquire Nordax Group.
- Advised A.P. Møller – Mærsk on the $100m disposal of its 50% holding in Egyptian Drilling Company to Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation.
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
US-heritage Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher combines crossborder capabilities with a strong public M&A practice to advise on matters across an array of sectors. The firm benefits from an impressive list of UK and US clients, and has seen notable activity in the gaming sector over the past year; Jonathan Earle represented The Stars Group in its £3.5bn acquisition of Sky Bet from CVC and Sky plc, leading a team that included former practice head Charlie Geffen . The team was bolstered by the return of Selina Sagayam to full-time fee earning and the hiring of Anna Howell and Jeremy Kenley from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP and Mayer Brown International LLP respectively. Howell is an M&A specialist in the oil and gas sector, while Kenley is experienced in the real estate market.
Other key lawyers:
Jonathan Earle; Nigel Stacey
AO World plc
Royal Mail plc
The Hut Group Limited
William Hill plc
Kraft Heinz Inc
The Stars Group Inc
Blackstone (Tactical Opportunities Fund)
- Advised one of the bidders on its £3bn bid for IWG plc.
- Represented MGM Resorts International in connection with the 50/50 joint venture with GVC Holdings to create a US sports and interactive game platform.
- Acted for William Hill in relation to its disposal of a minority interest inb NYX Gaming Group to Scientific Games, and a multi-year joint venture with International Game Technology.
- Acted for AO World on the acquisition of Mobile Phones Direct Limited for £40m.
- Represented a Chinese consortium of CITIC Capital Partners and Caixin Global on the $180.5m acquisition of Global Markets Intelligence Division (GMID), a financial information database operator, from Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.
Greenberg Traurig, LLP's London M&A practice is co-led by Paul Maher, the US firm's global vice chair, and Fiona Adams, managing partner of the London office and co-chair of the global corporate practice. Key sector focuses include pharmaceuticals and life sciences, financial services and real estate, with the team acting for high-profile clients on complex cross-border deals in these spaces and beyond. Indeed, the firm recently acted for AstraZeneca on its $922m sale of Nexium and Vimovo to Grünenthal.
Paul Maher; Fiona Adams
Other key lawyers:
Sarah Moyles; Kate Eades
‘An extremely commercial group of lawyers who seamlessly integrate with the in-house team to provide great client service – excellent outcomes at a fair price.’
‘Paul Maher is the best deal-making lawyer in the City.’
‘Fiona Adams is an outstanding M&A lawyer with great customer service.’
‘Paul Maher and Kate Eades are highly complementary – the team’s work is end-to-end and seamless.’
‘A really smart team – they care about you and the outcome, and work hard when you need them to. You feel in safe hands, but also part of a winning team.’
Rentokil Initial PLC
Smiths Group PLC
InterContinental Hotels Group plc
Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation
Cromwell European Real Estate Investment Trust
Goldman Sachs International
Deutsche Bank AG
BNP Paribas Group
- Represented Japanese industrial gas producer TNSC and its US subsidiary Matheson Tri-Gas (MTG) in an auction process to acquire Linde Praxair’s European industrial gas business for approximately €5bn.
- Represented AstraZeneca on the $922m sale of Nexium in Europe and Vimovo worldwide (other than the US and Japan) to Grünenthal.
- Advised InterContinental Hotels Group on its arrangement with Covivio to acquire the operating businesses, rebrand and operate 12 high-quality open hotels and one pipeline hotel in the UK
- Represented BNP Paribas Group and its local subsidiary BGŻ BNP Paribas on the £650m acquisition of the core banking business of Raiffeisen Bank Polska.
- Represented a mining investment company in its acquisition of an indirect minority interest in a foreign aluminium company.
Norton Rose Fulbright handles cross-border M&A matters through an interconnected network of international offices, including North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Key sector expertise includes energy, infrastructure, mining and commodities, transport, technology and life sciences, with work coordinated by the team in London. The team is led by Raj Karia, who specialises in public and private multi-jurisdictional M&A, with clients including international corporations and investment banks. Glenn Hall has rejoined the firm having spent time as Special Adviser to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and the team was also boosted by four new promotions to the partnership during 2019. Chris Pearson, who was part of the firm's team which advised the Takeover Panel Executive on the competitive bids for Sky by Fox, Disney and Comcast, recently relocated to the firm's New York office.
Other key lawyers:
Paul Whitelock; Alan Bainbridge; Kimberley Wood; Stephen Rigby; Chris Viner
‘A strong practice, with the global nature of the firm giving it good links across the world‘
‘Paul Whitelock is a very commercial lawyer with great Takeover Code knowledge‘
Bank of Montreal
Delta Air Lines
Lloyds Banking Group
Terra Firma Capital Partners
- Advised Takeover Panel Executive in connection with competitive bids for Sky by Fox, Disney and Comcast.
- Advised Randgold Resources Limited on its US$18.3bn merger with Barrick Gold Corporation
- Advised Thomson Reuters Founders Share Company on the sale by Thomson Reuters Corporation of a majority stake in its financial and risk business.
- Advised Rothschild and RBC Capital Markets as financial advisers to Melrose Industries on offer for GKN.
- Advised a three-party consortium led by China Resources (Holdings) Company Limited in its £550m acquisition of a 30% stake in the 402MW Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm.
Paul Hastings LLP has significantly ramped up its City M&A and private equity team over recent months. High profile additions include the hires of private equity specialist Anu Balasubramanian from DLA Piper, experienced energy and infrastructure partner Steven Bryan from Hogan Lovells International LLP and the 'excellent' M&A heavyweight Roger Barron from Linklaters LLP. More recently it added PE partner Ed Harris from Hogan Lovells, as well as Leanne Moezi who has joined as a partner. The team covers a broad range of sectors, with a leaning towards private M&A, with sector specialisms including real estate, technology, life sciences and telecoms. In addition to working with colleagues in the US the London M&A team works closely with the firm's private equity practice advising funds on M&A transactions and divestments.
Shearman & Sterling LLP advises large multinationals, lending corporations and financial institutions on strategically important M&A deals, both domestically and internationally. The London office works closely with its US counterparts on mandates spanning both sides of the Atlantic, with practice head Laurence Levy for example working with the New York office to advise Boston Scientific Corporation on its $4.2bn recommended cash offer for BTG, leading a team which included well-regarded senior associate Nick Withers. Levy also worked closely with the firm's Toronto office advising GE Power on the $3.25bn sale of its Distributed Power business to Advent International. Departures include Jeremy Kutner who joined Sullivan & Cromwell LLP as a corporate partner. However, Timothy Sheddick joined in the infrastructure space from Baker McKenzie.
Other key lawyers:
Paul Strecker; Frank Miller
‘A very professional team, run efficiently and with strong quality control‘
‘Hard working, dedicated and always available‘
‘Paul Strecker is an amazing lawyer – knowledgeable, willing and able to take difficult calls. Maybe more importantly he’s a rare people person, who is great with clients and counterparties‘
Acacia Mining plc
Anglo American plc
Baker Hughes, a GE company
Boston Scientific Corporation
Fairfax Africa Holdings
General Electric Company
Liberty Global plc
Olayan Financing Company
Qatar Investment Authority
- Advised Cyprus Cooperative Bank on the sale of certain of its assets and liabilities to Hellenic Bank Public Company Limited, for approximately €10.3bn
- Advising Energias de Portugal on its tender offer for the outstanding shares of EDP and EDP Renováveis, S.A. by China Three Gorges (Europe) S.A, for approximately €10.8bn
- Acted for ArcelorMittal in connection with its joint venture with Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation, and its acquisition of Essar Steel India Limited for approximately $7.4bn
- Advised Eurobank on the sale of its Romanian banking operations to Banca Transilvania, including Bancpost., ERB Retail Services IFN, and ERB Leasing IFN.
- Advised GMT Communications Partners and their holding company DOCU Group (Lux 1.5) S.à r.l. on the sale of DOCUgroup to Infopro Digital, a portfolio company of TowerBrook.
Akin Gump LLP 's London corporate team focuses on matters in Europe, Russia and the CIS, the Middle East, Asia and emerging markets. With its US heritage, the firm is also well poised to advise on UK-US inbound and outbound investments, and the London team often collaborates with the US offices on transatlantic M&A work. The team, co-led by Sebastian Rice and Daniel Walsh, handles negotiated transfers, auction processes, hostile takeovers, leveraged buyouts and joint ventures, involving both public and private companies. Key industry sectors include oil and gas, telecommunications and financial services. Gavin Weir joined from White & Case.
Sebastian Rice; Daniel Walsh
Other key lawyers:
David Sewell; Harry Keegan; Gavin Weir
‘Truly exceptional in terms of client service, commerciality, legal innovation and ability to deliver deals. Always get partner attention on every detailed aspect of the deal; the more complex the better‘
‘Excellent team with a strong focus on customer relationships and end to end customer service, Dan Walsh, Sebastian Rice and David Sewell are all great on high value and complex emerging markets deals‘
‘Incredibly proactive and commercial – their attention to detail is incomparable.
‘Sebastian Rice and Daniel Walsh are standout performers‘
‘Gavin Weir is absolutely first class‘
Outrider Master Fund LP
Brunswick Rail Limited
- Advised the Mail.ru Group on its strategic partnership and joint venture with a number of entities, including Alibaba Group, to launch a social commerce venture in Russia and the CIS.
- Represented Inguran in the $18.5m acquisition of the UK’s largest bull stud business.
- Acted for DEA Deutsche Erdoel AG on its acquisition of Sierra Oil & Gas, a Mexican oil and gas company.
- Advised CIEP and Discover Exploration in relation to the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Hansa Hydrocarbons Limited for an undisclosed amount.
- Represented PJSC LUKOIL, in conjunction with the Moscow office, on its $3bn market purchase buyback programme.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton's London office handles inbound and outbound transactions across multiple jurisdictions, using a cross-border practice to handle large complex transactions in both the public and private markets. Clients include corporates as both acquirers and targets, private equity firms and financial institutions, and the practice has notably recently developed a particular expertise in asset management deals. Despite the retirements of veteran M&A practitioners Simon Jay and Michael McDonald, the team remains strong, with Tihir Sarkar, Sam Bagot, Michael Preston and Nallini Puri forming the front line. Sarkar represented Qatar Investment Authority as the largest shareholder of Sainsburys in the proposed merger with Asda, while Puri acted for Luigi Lavazza S.p.A in connection with its acquisition of Mars Drinks from Mars Inc. Gabriele Antonazzo, formerly of the firm's Hong Kong office, rejoins the London M&A practice this year.
Tihir Sarkar; Sam Bagot; Michael Preston; Nallini Puri
Credit Suisse Asset Management
The Coca-Cola Company
Qatar Investment Authority
- Represented Fidessa Group in relation to the recommended £1.5bn offer by ION Investment Group Limited to acquire the entire issued share capital of Fidessa.
- Advising manufacturing client ArcelorMittal in its divestiture of steel plants in Romania, Czech Republic, Italy, Belgium,Luxembourg, and Macedonia to Liberty House Group, in a series of deals valued at approximately €1.4bn.
- Represented American Express as 50% shareholder of Amex Global Business Travel, in its joint venture with a Certares-backed financial sponsor consortium, in its £400m takeover of Hogg Robinson plc.
- Advising AB InBev in the proposed combination of its beer business in Russia and Ukraine with those of Turkish beverages group Anadolu Efes.
- Represented Qatar Investment Authority, the largest shareholder of J Sainsbury plc (Sainsbury’s), in Sainsbury’s proposed combination with Asda Group Limited (Asda)
Dechert LLP's corporate M&A department predominantly handles cross-border transactions for domestic and international clients in the upper and mid-market spaces. With a substantial offering also in the US, the City team, led by' formidable advocate' Douglas Getter, is able to provide high-quality advice on transatlantic deals, particularly in the financial services, life sciences, energy and TMT sectors. In addition, the firm benefits from a strong presence in emerging markets. New York-qualified Getter often leads on transatlantic matters, including M&A transactions, public offerings and joint ventures, acting for both public and private companies. The team has seen some change, with two partners leaving for the London arm of Goodwin - Graham Defries and Andrew Harrow - and Robert Darwin joining from Hogan Lovells International LLP . Darwin brings additional strength to the firm's life sciences group as well as private equity experience. Sean Geraghty is also recommended, as is Ross Allardice for private equity work.
‘A very capable and experienced team with some good strength among the more junior members‘
‘Fantastic service attitude, engagement and industry knowledge. They are also fun to work with‘
‘Strong transatlantic capabilities and good at spotting issues’
‘Proactive and ultra-responsive and never impersonal.’
‘Sean Geraghty has a deep understanding of AIM market transactions and is a calm and reassuring presence on any deal‘
‘Robert Darwin is committed, articulate and a good communicator, with astonishing experience and industry knowledge. He knows when to be tough and when to be pragmatic.’
‘Doug Getter can cut through the noise and press forward with real world solutions from his extensive experience. ‘
Bentley Systems Inc
Centaur Media plc
Chyrysaor Holdings Ltd
CIT Group, Inc
Crown Holdings, Inc.
Encompass Digital Media Ltd
Further Global Capital Management
Hunt Companies, Inc.
One Equity Partners LLC
The Phoenix Insurance Company Ltd
SK hynix Inc
Software Quality Systems AG
Sun Capital Partners, Inc.
Travel Leaders Group, LLC
Wyndham Worldwide, Inc.
- Advised Crown Holdings, a consumer packaging company, on its acquisition of Signode Industrial Group Holdings from The Carlyle Group for $3.91bn.
- Acted as lead global counsel on the sale of Albéa, a manufacturer of plastic packaging products, to PAI Partners.
- Advised Wyndham Worldwide on the carve-out and sale of its European Exchange and Rentals business, for $1.3bn.
- Advised CIT Group on the sale of its European rail leasing business NACCO for approximately $1.2bn
- Represented Itiviti on its merger with ULLINK to create a full-service technology and infrastructure provider.
Dentons' geographic scope covers jurisdictions including the Middle East, Africa, CIS, Europe and North America, acting on transactions governed under English Law from the London office. Key sectors over the past twelve months have included gaming and entertainment, hospitality, energy and financial services. Following the firm's Scottish expansion through its 2017 merger with Maclay Murray & Spens, Dentons has played a more active role in M&A transactions in the food and beverages sector. David Collins co-chairs the global M&A group, as well as leading the UK corporate department. He advises on both domestic and cross-border transactions across a range of sectors.
Other key lawyers:
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co Partners LLP (KKR)
CK Holdings Co., Ltd
Natixis Investment Managers
Lactalis Group S.A.
Bonhill Group plc
Tenaga Nasional Berhad
Science in Sport plc
Hurricane Energy plc
Autonomous Research LLP
Stonepeak Partners LP
C&C Group plc
Ho Bee Land Limited
Esta Investments Pte Ltd
- Advised CK Holdings, the holding company of Calsonic Kansei, on the agreement to acquire Magneti Marelli S.p.A, the automotive components business of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V., for €6.2bn.
- Acted for Natixis Investment Managers on its acquisition of UK-based European credit firm MV Credit.
- Advised Lactalis on its €740m acquisition of the nutritionals business of African drugmaker Aspen Pharmacare, encompassing over twenty jurisdictions.
- Advised Bonhill Group plc, on its reverse acquisition of the trade and assets of InvestmentNews from Crain Communications.
- Represented Tenaga Nasional Berhad in its acquisition of an 80% stake in two UK renewables companies, GVO Wind Limited and Bluemerang Capital Limited.
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP represents both UK and US clients on corporate M&A transactions across a range of sectors, including media, industrials and real estate, in addition to representing financial institutions. The firm has made several statement hires recently, adding Ian Lopez from Norton Rose Fulbright and corporate and capital markets partner Ashar Qureshi from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP . Lopez has notable experience advising on both hostile and recommended public takeovers, in addition to advising private clients on strategic acquisitions and corporate restructurings. Qureshi has arrived to head the EMEA global transactions team, based in London, and expands the firm's capabilities in multi-jurisdictional mandates.
Jones Day focuses on cross border M&A transactions, utilising its extensive network of international offices. The firm has a strong track record in public M&A, with practice co-head Leon Ferera experienced in Takeover Panel procedure, having spent time seconded there. Fellow co-head Giles Elliott has notable expertise in advising financial institutions on corporate transactions and governance matters, including M&A, joint ventures and buyouts. Key sector strengths for the firm include real estate, life sciences, consumer products and industrials, in addition to expertise in the defence and aerospace areas. In the entertainment and technology sectors, the firm advised Houlihan Lokey as financial adviser to GVC Holdings in connection with its £3.9bn acquisition of Ladbrokes.
Giles Elliott; Leon Ferera
Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund II
Greystar Real Estate Partners
Scapa Group PLC
China Grand Enterprises and Huadong Medicine
- Advised Molex Electronic Technologies, a member of the Koch Industries Group, on its acquisition of the Connected Vehicle Solutions division of Laird Limited.
- Represented DV4 on the sale of DV4’s interests in Get Living to Delancey Oxford Residential.
- Advised Hansteen Holdings on the disposal of Industrial Multi Property Trust portfolio, comprising 51 multi-let UK urban warehouse assets to Warehouse REIT Plc, for £116m.
- Advised Greystar Real Estate Partners on the recapitalisation of its student accommodation portfolio and entry into a joint venture, in which Allianz acquired an interest.
- Advised Huadong Medicine and China Grand Enterprises on Huadong’s £169m takeover offer for Sinclair Pharma Plc.
King & Spalding LLP's corporate practice covers public and private M&A, including joint ventures and private equity-backed transactions. The firm has a strong track record in its traditional sectors, namely energy and natural resources, as well as financial services, and within both the firm acts for international and domestic clients, including Baker Hughes and Sierra Oil & Gas. The practice is led by William Charnley, who has a particular focus on the private equity and financial institutions space, acting on mergers, acquisitions, disposals and providing general corporate advice. The firm recently hired Derek Meilman from Hogan Lovells International LLP, who has a particular emphasis on corporate M&A within the energy and infrastructure and consumer retail sectors.
Other key lawyers:
Marcus Young; Martin Hunt
United Parcel Service
Global Payments Inc.
Sierra Oil & Gas
Life Company Consolidation Group
Promethean Investments LLP
- Acted for Global Payments on its joint venture with HSBC Mexico, providing payment card processing services in Mexico.
- Represented Life Company Consolidation Group in relation to its agreement to acquire Generali Worldwide Insurance Company and Generali Link Limited for €400m.
- Represented Baker Hughes on its agreement to acquire 5% of the shares in ADNOC Drilling for an initial consideration of $550m.
- Acted for Life Company Consolidation Group on its agreement to acquire the entire business of The Equitable Life Assurance Society, for £1.8bn.
- Advised Aldersgate Investments on the sale of a 24% stake in Global Switch to an investor consortium led by Strategic IDC Limited, for £2.1bn
Mayer Brown International LLP's corporate practice handles M&A transactions across a broad array of sectors, including financial services, energy and natural resources, media, manufacturing and healthcare, with a particular leaning towards real-estate transactions. In addition to public and private companies, the firm frequently acts for financial sponsors on transaction structuring, asset sale and purchases and joint ventures. In addition, the team is experienced in working with senior management, boards of directors and committees on all aspects of mergers and acquisitions. The multi-jurisdictional aspect of the practice's work is facilitated through a strong network of international offices, with colleagues from the US, Germany, France and Hong Kong all regularly collaborating on deals. Perry Yam co-heads the global corporate practice from London, while Kate Ball-Dodd leads the London corporate practice. The firm boosted its ranks with the hire of senior counsel Jeremy Hill from Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, who is highly experienced in insurance and financial institutions transactions.
Kate Ball-Dodd; Perry Yam
Other key lawyers:
Robert Hamill; Richard Page; Jeremy Hill
‘A highly responsive and partner-led approach, with a focus on the commercial issues that matter. Able to be strong or aggressive if required but equally happy to be consensual‘
‘A really nice low-key ‘get on with it’ approach‘
‘Strong technical knowledge, combined with a commercial approach. Easy to work with, on top of the details and deliver a great service time and again‘
‘Kate Ball-Dodd is an outstanding lawyer who combines huge technical knowledge and experience with pragmatism and a proper understanding of the real world‘
‘Kate Ball-Dodd is a very strong lawyer, with excellent technical abilities combined with a straightforward commercial approach that makes transactions flow‘
‘Richard Page focuses on the issues that matter and is able to be strong when required and consensual when necessary‘
‘Richard Page is an outstanding counsel who has built a small but strong team around him. He is highly intelligent but always user friendly and commercial and is and usually one step ahead of others in the room‘
Entertainment One Limited
Shearwater Group Plc
Sumitomo Metal Mining
Universal Coal plc
Wilmcote Holdings plc
- Advised Emasan as the majority seller on the €1.9bn sale of Interoute Communications Holdings SA to GTT Communications.
- Acted for Sumitomo Metal Mining Company on its €1.2bn acquisition of a 30% indirect interest in Compañia Minera Teck Quebrada Blanca S.A., from Teck Resources Limited.
- Advised Investec Bank, as financial sponsor and joint corporate broker, on JD Sports’ $558m acquisition of The Finish Line, Inc.
- Advised Entertainment One on its acquisition of the remaining 49% stake in The Mark Gordon Company for $209m.
- Acted for The Hanover Insurance Group on its $950m sale of Chaucer to China Reinsurance Corporation
Milbank regularly handles multi-jurisdictional M&A transactions, with matters originating from the Middle East, Asia, continental Europe and both sides of the Atlantic. Particularly notable has been the firm's strength in UK/US/Germany transactions, on which the London office collaborates with the New York and Munich offices, such as Advent International's on the $3.25bn acquisition of General Electric's distributed power business. Key industry sectors include financial services, energy and natural resources, leisure and gaming and technology. The practice is co-headed by Mark Stamp and Stuart Harray; both of whom have experience acting for private equity clients, in addition to Stamp's expertise representing financial institutions and Harray's specific sector strengths in energy and natural resources and mining and minerals. Multiple hires across the finance and restructuring departments over the past year have added strength to the corporate department, although Daniel Wayte departed the M&A practice for Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP.
Mark Stamp; Stuart Harray
Other key lawyers:
‘One of my first choices for commercial matters in London. A very well balanced and client-orientated firm.’
‘Stuart Harray is very commercial, insightful and pragmatic. His ability to communicate difficult points in a positive way enables constructive negotiation.’
Yellow Cake plc
Eurobank Ergasias SA
Eldorado Resorts Inc.
ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE
Sahara US Corporation
- Advised Apleona Limited on the sale of GVA under a new agreement with Canada-based Avison Young, for £205m.
- Advised Advent International on its $3.25bn acquisition of Distributed Power Business from GE Power, including the Jenbacher and Waukesha engines, as well as manufacturing sites in Austria, Canada and the US.
Morrison & Foerster LLP has a particular focus on the technology sector, as well as pharmaceuticals, healthcare and energy. With dual strengths in both the UK and US, the firm is able to advise on transatlantic matters, and also has notable experience acting for Japan-headquartered clients, as well as continental European companies. Graeme Sloan co-chairs the global M&A practice in addition to heading the London corporate offering. He has a strong track record advising public and private companies on M&A transactions and joint ventures, in addition to sovereign wealth funds and private equity houses. The firm has been continuing to build up its City presence, adding Dan Coppel from Jones Day , whose practice focuses on cross-border private M&A, with sector-specific experience in technology, manufacturing and natural resources.
Other key lawyers:
Andrew Boyd; Gary Brown; Dan Coppel
SoftBank Group Corp.
Tate & Lyle PLC
Vonage Holdings Corp.
Sonora Mills Foods Inc.
- Advised the sellers of EnerMech Group Limited and the EnerMech management team, on the sale of the company to global alternative asset manager Carlyle Group for £450m.
- Represented SoftBank in its $7.7bn primary and secondary investment as part of a $9.3bn sale of stock by Uber.
- Advised cloud communications services provider Vonage Holdings Corp. on the dual acquisitions of NewVoiceMedia and Telefonica Digital, for $350m and $35m respectively.
- Represented Sonora Mills Foods and Popchips Inc. on the sale of the entire issued share capital of Popchips to KP Snacks.
- Acted for Tate and Lyle on its acquisition of a 15% equity holding in Sweet Green Fields, a US-headquartered stevia company.
Proskauer Rose LLP's corporate practice focuses on M&A work for multi-asset fund managers, across the high-end and mid-market spaces. Key matters involve advising sovereign wealth funds, executive management sellers, private equity houses and growth capital clients. Practice head Steven Davis focuses on corporate M&A work within the consumer retail, industrial and healthcare sectors, and he advises both public and private companies in these areas. Additional sector specialisms include financial services and technology, led by Andrew Wingfield and Richard Bull respectively; Bull was a recent hire from Norton Rose Fulbright, who brought with him a private equity-focused practice with experience advising financial services and technology clients.
‘Consistently great support enabling us to reach the right outcomes.’
‘A pleasure to work with at all times & my ‘go-to’ advisers‘
‘Always get the right balance between being pragmatic and commercial whilst ensuring the risks are adequately mitigated.’
‘They have the ability for each team member to step into the deal if one partner is unavailable; this was seamless in our case‘
‘Richard Bull always goes above and beyond what is expected. ‘
Aleph Capital Partners LLP
AnaCap Financial Partners
Ares Capital Management
Azelis S.A (representing executive shareholders)
BlueBay Asset Management
Chetwood Financial Limited
Exponent Private Equity LLP
Intermediate Capital Group
Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital
One Peak Partners
Oaktree Capital Management
Preservation Capital Partners
Toscafund Asset Management
Sky Betting & Gaming
- Advised Rubicon Partners on its acquisition of a majority stake in oil and gas services business John Lawrie from the existing shareholders.
- Advised Ocorian on the acquisition of the Abax Corporate Services, a corporate trust services business based in Mauritius.
- Represented Cheyne Capital on its acquisition of Vanderbilt Homes.
- Acted for the senior executives and employee shareholders of Sky Betting & Gaming in its $4.7 billion sale to Stars Group Inc
- Advised Corsair Capital on its proposed acquisition of ZEDRA Group, subject to regulatory approvals.
Vinson & Elkins RLLP's corporate M&A team has a strong focus on energy-related transactions, with notable matters in emerging markets and continental Europe. In addition to advising energy sector clients on strategic transactions, the team is experienced in acting for private funds on corporate transactions and high-value asset transfers. The team is led by Jeffrey Eldredge, who has experience advising energy and telecoms clients and investment funds respectively.
Other key lawyers:
‘An experienced team with a wide skillset‘
‘An understanding of the client’s needs combined with partners who are always available, commercial acumen and speedy drafting‘
Vitol Investment Partnership II
Helios Investment Partners
TPG Sixth Street Partners
Equinor (formerly Statoil)
Apollo Global Management
Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures
Energy Growth Momentum
Africa Oil Corp.
Peninsula Capital Advisors
- Advised a consortium, including PetroVida, on all aspects of its acquisition of a 50% interest in Petrobras Oil and Gas B.V. from Petrobras International Braspetro B.V. for $1.4bn.
- Advised Vitol Group in its joint acquisition, with IFM Global Infrastructure Fund, of Buckeye Partners LP’s 50% equity interest in VTTI B.V.
- Acted for Vivo Energy Holding in in connection with its strategic acquisition of ENGEN’s downstream business in 9 countries in Africa in a share and cash transaction, valued at $203.9m.
- Advised Equinor in connection with its acquisition of a 25% interest in the offshore Roncador field, one of Brazil’s largest producing oil fields, from Petrobras, for $2.9bn.
- Advised EQT Infrastructure in relation to its sale of Tampnet AS to 3i Infrastructure plc, for approximately €500m